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March 25, 2024
min read

Atlassian - Everything you need to know [Beginner's Guide]

Irena Piątkiewicz
Marketing Manager

Agile software development wouldn't be the same without them. Back when the Internet was still in its infancy, Atlassian changed the way teams work together. They saw the potential in software and used it to become a billion-dollar company.

Customers around the world consider Atlassian products an integral part of their success. In this article, we'll tell you all about their tools, plug-ins, and partners. Read on to see how it all started and how Atlassian solutions can take your business to the next level.

Atlassian's history with a rough start

In 2002, two college friends, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, decided to start an IT company. They chose the name Atlas, inspired by the Greek titan for his legendary service to the world. When they searched for a website domain, they found that was already in use. So they turned a noun into an adjective - Atlassian.

Atlassian was at first a technical support company. It wasn't a very scalable business, and the two-man team tried to bring their solutions to market. With a small amount of money, they took an unusual route. They borrowed $10,000 on a credit card to release their first product. Jira, a bug-tracking software, was ready after months of coding. Its name was a truncation of Gojira, the Japanese word for Godzilla.

Back then, e-commerce didn't really exist, and you needed a salesperson to promote a product. Since they didn't have the money for that either, they took a chance and put Jira online.

They woke one morning in 2003 to find an order from American Airlines lying on the fax machine. According to company lore, they looked at each other and said, “Did you talk to them?” “No, did you?” … “Holy shit! American Airlines saw Jira on our website and bought it just like that!”

Jira was one of the breakthrough solutions in working with code. Developers could manage bugs and schedule releases in one place. Today's standard was a brand new idea at the time. And the community has responded with great enthusiasm.

Two years later, Atlassian created Confluence - a team collaboration platform. As a knowledge base, it helps teams organize, store and share information. Flexible and well-integrated with Jira, Confluence proved to be another company success.

In 2005, just one year after releasing Confluence, the company celebrated having their 1,000th customer. The software gained more and more interest, with big companies like NASA, Twitter, and Adobe using it to manage their projects and teams.

Right from the start, the founders believed in giving back. In 2006, they started the Atlassian Foundation with the idea that "the sooner you start giving back, the easier it is." They promised to donate one percent of their profits, products, ownership, and employee time to organizations making a positive impact.

After 10 years, the company made $100 million in revenue. And 5 years later, Atlassian became a public company and got listed on NASDAQ.

Fast forward to today, and Atlassian is still considered a true software titan. As it continues to reach out to its customers and introduce AI-powered features, we are very excited about the future.

To further illustrate the company's spirit, let's talk about its mission and values.

Atlassian's Mission and Values

An organization's strengths are reflected in its guiding principles. These principles help us understand and connect with the character of the company.

When it came time to set their values, Atlassian asked their employees, "What aspects do we want to preserve?" They are a team that pushes boundaries, explores new ideas, and always looks for ways to improve. The result was a list of company values that came to life in 2007.

Atlassian values:

1. Open company, no bullshit - Atlassian believes in being honest and open. Safety and trust lay as a foundation for the company.

2. Build with Heart and Balance - Passionate people create outstanding solutions. Do your best at work, but don't forget that life isn’t all about it. 

3. Don't #@!% the Customer - Always have a user in your mind. Atlassian is here to serve the customers, not mess them around.

4. Play, as a Team - The team is the beginning of success. Atlassian encourages collaboration and having fun along the way.

5. Be the Change You Seek - Instead of waiting for change, they roll up their sleeves and make it happen. Constant change and improvement are the foundation for great products.

Atlassian Mission

Behind every great human achievement, there is a team. From medicine and space travel to disaster response and pizza deliveries, our products help teams all over the planet advance humanity through the power of software. Our mission is to help unleash the potential of every team.
Atlassian co-founders and co-CEOs Mike Cannon-Brookes (left) and Scott Farquhar (right).
Atlassian co-founders and co-CEOs
Mike Cannon-Brookes (left) and Scott Farquhar (right).

Overview of Atlassian Products

When it comes to collaboration tools, Atlassian is the undisputed leader. They offer a suite of products that address different needs, regardless of the team. These solutions are designed to help collaboration and break down silos across the enterprise. Here are some flagship Atlassian products:

Jira Software

The best software development tool designed for the Agile teams. Track the entire code development process from idea to final release and beyond. What are the top features? Jira supports software delivery teams with pre-built boards, roadmaps, and detailed insights. Try Scrum and Kanban templates, interactive timelines, customizable workflows and automation.

Jira Work Management

Work management tool included free with every Jira Software license (on the cloud). Designed with business teams in mind, it extends Jira with extra templates. Now you can bring the power of Agile delivery to departments like HR, Marketing or Sales.

Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk). 

Another member of the Jira family, designed to handle service requests. Although the service desk is usually associated with IT, Atlassian has taken a broader view. HR, marketing, and legal departments can also set up their help forms using pre-built templates. Requests don't get lost in the shuffle, and issues are resolved faster.


A collaboration wiki for companies and teams, known as a "single source of truth." Gather all the information in one knowledge center. Built for dynamic collaboration, Confluence lets teams work together in real time. Create, search, edit, and comment document pages and keep them organized with spaces.


Visual work management tool in the shape of a clear kanban board. An intuitive user interface allows you to organize the tasks by the stages of each project. Trello has the lowest entry barrier, although it is not as well suited to specific needs as Jira.


Code repository and native git tool for Jira. If you are already using Atlassian products, it will speed up software development and reduce the time to release.


Continuous integration server and deployment tool. Used by teams to automate release management of software applications.

All tools can complement each other for even greater productivity and cooperation. To add functionality that isn't available out of the box, check out the Atlassian Marketplace. There you'll find over 5,000 products as well as dozens of free platform integrations with other vendors.

Atlassian products release timeline from 2002 to 2015 - infographics

Atlassian Hosting Options - Server vs Cloud vs Data Center

There are two options for hosting Atlassian software - on the cloud or in the client’s private infrastructure. The standard self-managed version, called Atlassian Server, is no longer available for purchase and support for it ends in 2024. Right now, you can choose between Cloud and Data Center as alternatives. Let's find out what these solutions are and which would be the best choice.

What are the differences between Atlassian Cloud and Data Center?

Atlassian Cloud

This solution is a great option for organizations that don't need software hosted on their own infrastructure. Customers choose the cloud when they want innovation, the latest features, and performance. Atlassian manages the data storage, servers, and maintenance for the customer. As a result, organizations don't have to invest as much in administrative costs.

Atlassian Cloud features:

  • SaaS model
  • Reduce infrastructure costs
  • Easy up or downscaling in the number of users/license
  • Available anytime, anywhere
  • Automatic updates
  • Lower user entry threshold
  • Built-in security, privacy, compliance, and reliability
    • Data encryption in transit and rest
    • SAML-based single sign-on with all major portals
    • User provisioning (SCIM)
    • Enforced two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Flexible subscription plan (Free, Standard, Premium, and Enterprise)
  • Extensive backup program with daily automated backups
  • The vast majority of Atlassian’s R&D investment
  • Available for Jira Service Desk, Jira Software, Jira Core, Confluence, Trello, and Bitbucket

Atlassian Data Center

Data Center is a self-hosted deployment option. It's dedicated to large organizations with high usage options or following specific regulations. Data Center fills the need for advanced control and flexibility for IT services and local data storage. This solution can be deployed as a single node or clustered, on your physical hardware or IaaS.

Data Center Features

  • Provides infrastructure flexibility. Host Atlassian products on your own infrastructure or through cloud providers such as AWS and Azure.
  • Extends products with data center apps
  • Eliminates downtime
  • Customizes security needs
  • Secures user authentication
  • Provides critical data insights
  • Single billing plan with an annual subscription depending on number of users.
  • Available for Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Confluence, Crowd and Bitbucket.

Can I change Cloud or Data Center hosting?

Yes! You can perform migration from the Atlassian Data Center to the Cloud or from the Cloud to the Data Center. Companies do it on their own or get help from an experienced partner. Read one of our case studies to see how it works.

Atlassian Cloud Features vs. Data Center Infographic

Atlassian Ecosystem and Integration

Atlassian isn't just about its products. It's also about its ecosystem of partners, add-ons, and learning resources. Customers around the world love Atlassian's products and feel proud to be part of the community. Let's take a look at how these elements work together to create one great experience.

Atlassian Marketplace

In May 2022, the Atlassian Marketplace celebrated its tenth anniversary. Starting with only 60 apps for sale, it is now one of the pillars of Atlassian's successful strategy.

What can we find there? It is an online app store with a wide selection of paid and free integrations adding new features. Currently, it's more than 5,300 products from 1,250+ Marketplace Partners for Jira, JSM, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, and Crowd. Customers can find apps for everything and use them on Cloud ("cloud fortified") or Data Center.

What can you do with apps from the Marketplace? Here are some examples for cloud:

  • Tempo - A set of Jira plugins for better time management. With Tempo Timesheets, you can monitor Jira tasks and easily integrate with tools like Slack or IDE to identify the most time-consuming activities. With Tempo Planner, you can optimize task allocation and improve project planning. Tempo Budgets helps you estimate project costs and track revenue and profitability for each project.
  • BigPicture - BigPicture provides advanced project management and planning capabilities within Jira software. Get new ways to visualize your work and balance the workload of your team members. What are the key features? At-a-glance portfolio overview, Gantt charts, roadmaps, team management, resource view, and more. BigPicture adapts to different project models, including waterfall, agile and hybrid project management.
  • ScriptRunner - Extend the power of Jira and Confluence with new features tailored to your needs. ScriptRunner lets you write code for Atlassian applications using Groovy scripts and JQL. Why use ScriptRunner? Automate repetitive tasks, customize any element of Jira, create third-party integrations, or perform advanced JQL searches. ScriptRunner also offers no-code functionality and a free script snippet library.
  • Eazy Bi - Create custom reports, charts, and dashboards based on Jira data. EazyBI helps teams and organizations gain deeper insights into their projects, issues, and performance. How does it make a difference? Measure, analyze, and visualize your Jira metrics, track trends, threats, and opportunities. Use drag-and-drop variables to create interactive custom charts. Seamless integration with Atlassian tools and other data origins included.
  • Jira Workflow Toolbox - Use this app to extend Jira workflows with custom conditions, validators and post functions. JWT features include advanced calculations, expression parser and editor, field codes, and audit log, allowing users to create customized and dynamic workflows that meet their specific project requirements. Get started with built-in examples and a comprehensive in-app handbook.
Atlassian Marketplace website screenshot
Source: Atlassian Marketplace

Atlassian Community

We’re all in this together! The Atlassian Community is an online platform where enthusiasts meet to share knowledge about their favorite tools. Here you can ask questions on the forum and find the solutions to unsolved problems. It’s a place to get help from like-minded users who want to connect and learn.

The first Atlassian user group started in 2006 in Reston, Virginia when a Jira admin took it upon herself to get together with other Atlassian users in the area. We were thrilled to discover we had champions like that. So Atlassian started supporting them with pizza, beer, and t-shirts, then basically stayed out of their way. Fast forward to today, and we now have 24,000 users attending Atlassian Community events each year, supported by a dedicated team within the company.

The site is divided into mini-communities (groups) and collections that contain discussions, questions, and articles related to products or areas of interest. Active community members can participate in the Kudos program and earn badges for their engagement.

For the most dedicated community members, a Community Leader role awaits. Leaders share knowledge, write articles, host Atlassian community events, and cheer on other members. With that said, they can enjoy special privileges such as discounts, private Slack instances, swag, or quicker updates.

However, Atlassian emphasizes that this role should not be for promotional or sale purposes, but for the glory of the community.

Atlassian Community Website screenshot.
Source: Atlassian Community

Atlassian Partnership Types

Atlassian believes that its strength lies in its community. That's why they put professional services and application development in the hands of their partners. Customers get help from practitioners and enthusiasts who understand their needs and pain points. And to keep the quality, Atlassian carefully selects partners and makes sure they know their products inside and out.

Atlassian Solution Partner

Certified companies with consultants, advisors, trainers, and thought leaders. They help customers implement, migrate, and enhance Atlassian products. The best are recognized as Partners of the Year. Solution Partners fall into one of three categories based on the requirements they have met:

  • Silver Solution Partner - The entry-level of the Atlassian partnership. It's designed for companies with specific specializations or new relationships with Atlassian.
  • Gold Solution Partner - The second level of partnership requires higher levels of revenue and certified consultants.
  • Platinum Solution Partner - Partners most involved in selling Atlassian-related products and services. To achieve this level, your team must include a minimum of 8 or 12 Atlassian Certified individuals, depending on region.

⭐️ Why work with Atlassian Solution Partners?

There are many benefits to working with an official Atlassian Solution Partner. First, you get to work with experts who know these tools well and can develop customized solutions. You don't have to adapt to the tool, the tool adapts to you. Partners also offer special discounts and take the hassle out of licensing for you. Atlassian supports and encourages such partnerships among the community.

As an Atlassian Solution Partner, we can expand your team, purchase licenses, and provide expert support at every stage of the Atlassian adventure. We would be happy to talk about any challenges along the way :)

Atlassian Marketplace Partners

These partners develop applications and add-ons that complement Atlassian products. They extend Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, and more with their products available on the Atlassian Marketplace. Marketplace Partners are certified at three levels: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. According to the, partners must meet expectations in the following areas

  • Cloud and Data Center - Partners are investing in the Cloud and have Data Center Approved versions of their high-traction server apps.
  • Security -Partners are up-leveling their security practices by participating in our Marketplace Security Programs. For cloud apps that participate, we are introducing a new security badge on Marketplace so customers can make informed security decisions.

Global Alliance Partners

These are expert companies with large enterprise experience. This category currently includes 6 companies.

Platform Partners

Technology partners that allow us to use useful integrations such as Slack and Adobe.

Why Choose Atlassian?

Over 260,000 users regularly use Jira, Confluence and other tools from the Australian company. They trusted the company and may have even become members of the community. Is it worth it to use their products?

Here are some of the benefits of Atlassian's tools:

  • Designed for Agile software development - Jira is the #1 recommended tool for tech teams. There's no doubt they know how to best serve the development process from the start to deployment.
  • Bringing all teams management to one place - Reducing silos is an Atlassian power. Now their products can be used for any team with Confluence, Jira Work Management, and Trello. All the products work together as one.
  • Good knowledge of its customers - Atlassian has been in the market for 20 years. It's plenty of time to see what their needs are and the most useful solutions.
  • Available for small and large companies - Jira is used by teams of 2 through 2000 in companies of all sizes. Companies up to 10 people have free licenses for most products and large ones can get the help of experienced partners.
  • Extensive customization and many integrations available - Jira is known for its wide variety of features that you can customize for your team.


Atlassian has come a long way from a two-person startup to a tech giant with a global reputation. The values that have guided the company from the beginning are not only the foundation of their products, but also the foundation of an engaged community. Many can't imagine working without Jira, Confluence or Trello, so if you're not already using any of these, we'd be happy to help you get started.


  • What does Atlassian do?
    • Atlassian is a software company specializing in creating tools for team collaboration and software development. Their most known products are Jira and Confluence.
  • What are Atlassian tools?
    • Atlassian has a wide range of software development and project management tools. Jira, Confluence, Jira Service Management, Trello, and Bamboo are their most popular solutions.
  • Is Atlassian safe?
  • Is Atlassian free?
    • Most Atlassian cloud tools like Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Work Management, Opsgenie are free for up to 10 users in a team. Jira Service Management is free for up to 3 agents, Bitbucket is free for up to 5 users, and Trello is unlimited. 
  • When was Atlassian founded?
    • Atlassian was founded in Sydney in 2002 by two college friends, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.


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